Right now Kobe Bryant is rehabbing from shoulder surgery and hoping for the best with the fate of the Los Angeles Lakers hanging in the balance with the NBA Draft Lottery less than two weeks away. Bryant may be concentrating on getting his 36-year-old body back to form for what will likely be his last season with the Lakers, but he still takes the time to praise tough opponents of the past.
On Friday, Kobe took to Twitter to show respect to one of the players in the league that has given the five-time NBA champion the most trouble on the basketball floor during his career that has almost spanned two decades. Bryant simply said one word on Twitter quoting a tweet of Grantland’s Brian Phillips’ article on Tony Allen:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 8, 2015
During Allen’s stint with the Boston Celtics, Kobe always had his hands full going up against the Lakers’ arch rivals. Following two epic battles in the NBA Finals between 2008 and 2010, Bryant has nothing but respect for Allen’s ability to lockup some of the best perimeter players in the NBA.
The respect between the two NBA veterans goes both ways. Last month, Allen said Bryant is the best player he’s ever played against. Allen referred back to his rookie season in 2005 when Kobe forced the defensive-minded guard to foul out in only eight minutes on the floor.
Bryant has also praised Allen in the past claiming that he’s the best defender he’s ever played against. Considering Bryant’s 19 years in the league and the players he’s faced during that time, dubbing Allen the best defender he’s faced is high praise to say the least.[divide]